#FarmLife Is Taking Over Social Media
#FarmLife Is Taking Over Social Media
#FarmLife Is Taking Over
Social Media
A new generation of farmers is giving social followers access to their everyday lives, bringing rural living to the mainstream
By Erin Brereton
In late 2016, ranchers Mike and Erin Galloway set up their YouTube channel, Our Wyoming Life, hoping to boost their farmers market meat sales by showing how they ethically raise and feed their animals.
Farm Animals
Toro
Toro
The second video the Galloways ever posted—a 4-minute clip of Mike feeding cows—captivated viewers. In it, Mike narrates over footage from the driver’s seat of his tractor as he distributes 6,000 pounds of hay. The video amassed 25,000 views and the channel gained 1,500 subscribers overnight.

Since then, the channel has experienced steady growth, doubling its subscriber base in its first nine months. Mike and Erin began taking a more storytelling-based approach to topics ranging from animals mating to ranching costs.

“At one point, when we had 3,000 subscribers, someone said, ‘Imagine those 3,000 people are outside your room waiting for your next video. That’s what you’ve built so far,’” Mike says.

As of January 2020, Our Wyoming Life’s subscriber total has swelled to more than 120,000.

Mike Galloway
Erin Galloway
Mike Galloway
Erin Galloway
Mike (left) and Erin Galloway (right) document animal feeding and care on their ranch on their YouTube channel. Images courtesy of the Galloways.
At one point, when we had 3,000 subscribers, someone said, ‘Imagine those 3,000 people are outside your room waiting for your next video. That’s what you’ve built so far.’
—Mike Galloway
/ Homegrown Charm Meets Social Frenzy /
Social media has transformed how we communicate, allowing farmers, ranchers, homesteaders, and rural hobbyists to connect with each other and share the love of the lifestyle with people who haven’t yet been exposed to it. In fact, the hashtag #farmlife has been used in more than 8 million public posts on Instagram. These include a variety of photo styles and subjects, from amateur pictures of the family dog to stylized overhead shots of beautifully curated egg collections.

And on Facebook, groups focused on topics like beekeeping and raising ducks give people a place to connect and share advice—or just make each other laugh.

Merck
#FarmLife
These social platforms have also opened the lines of communication between producers and consumers. Farmers can now talk to the people enjoying their crops or the livestock they’ve raised directly, showing them what they’re doing on a daily basis and giving them transparency into how their food is made.

Since filming began roughly three years ago, the Galloways’ business has grown in tandem with their social media presence. Increased exposure coupled with the advertising revenue social media influencers can collect allowed them to open a store at the farm in 2019 that sells beef, eggs, seasonal vegetables, and other items. They’re also expanding their beef and other jerky production.

“Our YouTube income essentially has been invested back into the ranch,” Erin says. “Last year, we had a drought and were able to buy hay for the cows with YouTube money. Without the channel, I don’t know [if] we would have taken the leap into having a store. It’s definitely been able to advance us toward long-term goals and diversified the ranch for income stabilization.”
Girl with Chicken
/ An Authentic Connection /
Like the Galloways, Jay Hill shares social videos and photos capturing his daily experience managing more than 18,000 farmland acres in Texas and New Mexico.

Growing up on a 10-acre hobby farm, at 16, Jay decided to pursue a career in farming. Today, he’s the managing partner at Chaffhaye.

“I didn’t really think of social media in the beginning as something that would give me a platform for my business; I just did it to showcase what we were doing,” Jay says. “People latched on to the dream I’ve got.”

Jay Hill
Jay Hill takes a selfie while working on the farm. Image courtesy of Jay Hill.
Jay’s upbeat, enthusiastic personality won him up to 70,000 daily views on Snapchat. Two years ago, he switched to mainly using Instagram, as @hilljay45, hoping to track follower activity and engagement more easily. Though he’s made plenty of agricultural connections on social media, Jay’s main audience includes a range of people without farming experience who are simply curious about the lifestyle and industry.

“I can pick up a phone and talk to farmers,” Jay says. “I want [to reach] people who don’t understand how farming works.”

In terms of his style, Jay may one day publish a serious post about environmental concerns or topics like bee pollination, and the next day, he’ll share a funny picture of himself striking a bodybuilding pose.

Jay shows off his crops
Jay shows off his crops. Image courtesy of Jay Hill.
“The ultimate goal is to reach as many people as possible; but at the same time, I want people to really want to follow along,” he says. “I don’t want to have something that’s scripted.”

Jay has found people want content they can relate to, something to laugh at, and transparency, because social media users, he says, will quickly see through overly staged shots and shameless advertising plugs.

“I paint a picture of what the farm is on Instagram, and when people come out here, they [see] it’s real,” Jay says. “We’re not trying to showboat one thing or another. We want the world to see agriculture and the environment the way they are.”

I paint a picture of what the farm is on Instagram, and when people come out here, they [see] it’s real.
—Jay Hill
9 Farm Life Accounts, Hashtags, and Groups to Follow
instagram
instagram accounts
New Mexico Milk Maid
@newmexicomilkmaid
A dairy farmer and environmental scientist posts about life on the farm and issues facing the industry.
Juggling Daisies
@jugglingdaisies
This hobby farm is home to a cast of adorable animal characters.
FarmHer
@farmher1
The Instagram account for FarmHer documents inspiring women in agriculture.
instagram
instagram HASHTAGS
#LifeOutHere
From children learning to garden to hilarious goat videos, this hashtag shares the special moments of life out here.
#EggEnvy
Ogle at beautifully styled images of colorful farm-fresh eggs.
Facebook
Facebook groups
Backyard Chickens
Backyard Chickens
Ask for advice and connect over the fun, challenging, bizarre, and rewarding aspects of owning and loving chickens.
Homesteads and Sustainability
Homesteads and Sustainability
This group welcomes discussions for people with a range of experience levels.
Youtube
Youtube accounts
WT Farm Girl
WT Farm Girl
A newbie chronicles her experience getting a Michigan farm up and running.
Werner Farms
Werner Farms
Through a variety of angles, including aerial shots, a family farm shares how they put their equipment to work.
Want to discover more of life out here online? Follow Tractor Supply on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest.
About the Writer
Erin Brereton has written about travel and other topics for magazines, newspapers, and other publications for more than 20 years.

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